Sunday, November 28, 2010


Offal (The Good Cook / Techniques and Recipes series).  Hardcover book published by Time Life.

Sometimes it’s important to tackle the serious topics in life (no, not more Stuff on Cats) and today I want to write about offal. Traumatised as a child (thanks mum) with plates of liver and onions, I am still unable to even begin to consider offal as sustenance.  It is over 30 years since I last ate liver (or kidney) and I still shudder at the thought.  There are those of you who enjoy a plate of offal and it seems that over recent years offal has made a bit of a culinary comeback.  This is something beyond my personal understanding and taste.  So why am I writing about offal….?

I couldn’t believe my luck when I came across a large pile of Time Life “The Good Cook” books (not to be confused with the Time Life “Foods of the World” books).  Earlier this year I ebayed 11 titles of this series as a set and failed to make the sale.  I then found an extra title, upped it to 12 and got multiple bids.  After some consultation with some other booksellers, the plausible theory as to why this is, is that people will buy a set of 12 (a dozen) but 11 isn’t a set… even if there is a total of 28 volumes in the set, 11 seems wrong.  Anyway, I have been collecting a few odd volumes to one day make up another set and now I can easily make 12 with the titles I found.  Now here’s the interesting part, some of the individual volumes are worth $$$.  These were titles that were less popular at the time and people opted not to buy them, Offal being a prime example and this is one of the titles that I recently acquired.  So I am going to list this volume on ebay separately to the 12 volumes.  There are 3 ways of looking at this:

  1. As this volume is less common, a lot more people will be missing it from their collections/sets.  Therefore they probably don’t want to buy 12 volumes when they only need the 1.
  2. Someone may just want to buy a cookbook about offal and have no interest in the series.
  3. I can get more money for this book if I list it separately… and lets face it, that’s why I sell books.

So I do have an appreciation of Offal, maybe not in the same way I have an appreciation for James Joyce who once wrote:
"Mr Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls. He liked thick giblet soup, nutty gizzards, a stuffed roast heart, liverslices fried with crustcrumbs, fried hencods' roes. Most of all he liked grilled mutton kidneys which gave to his palate a fine tang of faintly scented urine." 


  1. do you still have this book available?

    1. Hi Ron,
      Yes i do. You can find the book at Obviously it's under Huc & Gabat. Let me know where you are and i can send you some postage costs (maybe contacting me through Books and Collectables would be easier).
      All the best